(Closed) Parties Before Small Wedding?

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1872 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

I think that traditional etiquette would say that it’s a better idea to have an informal party with everyone AFTER your wedding to celebrate the marriage and keep your pre-ceremony festivities (specifically your shower) to only those invited to the ceremony. However, given that your wedding is family only, I think that if someone else wants to throw you an engagement party, that’d be okay–particularly if you specify “No gifts, please” on the invitation (or make sure it gets around via word of mouth).

I’m sort of more hesitant to cheer on having several parties beforehand, because when your wedding itself is that exclusive, it seems kind of unfair and might be taken as self-centered to keep ramping up the pre-celebrations for an event that people aren’t going to be invited to in the end. The exception is if you are having separate parties for separate circles that don’t intersect much. 

Post # 4
205 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

This was helpful for me in planning for my small wedding:

According to Miss Manners, “…no instructions about presents, even negative instructions, belong on an invitation. The host is not supposed to be thinking of the possibility of getting stuff from his guests.” In other words, spread the “no gifts” policy by word of mouth.

I agree with JennyW1 about having multiple pre-wedding parties. However, if you really want to have a large informal gathering (an engagement party) you could still invite everyone and call it something else so they don’t bring gifts or feel excluded – Meet and Greet, etc.. I think most people are understanding when you are doing a family-only wedding, but an engagement party, a meet-n-greet, and additional events would be too much.


Post # 6
1068 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

If you invite guests to any type of pre-wedding party (engagement party, etc), proper etiquette states that they need to be invited guests to the wedding. As a guest, I would probably be very confused as to why I’m invited to the engagement party to celebrate the pending nuptials, but then not be invited to the nuptials themselves. Even if gifts are not involved, all guests to pre-wedding parties should be invited to the wedding. If you want to celebrate with people before the wedding, the you should also want to celebrate with them after the wedding. If you don’t want to invite them to the wedding, then you shouldn’t invite them to any pre-wedding celebrations. 

The 5 people that this may effect may have mixed feelings about this. I understand that you want a family only ceremony. You can ask one of these friends what they think about the idea and see how they react – ask someone who you know will be honest with you.

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